Who We Are 2017-04-07T22:07:17+00:00

Who We Are

LibForAll (“Liberty for All”) Foundation is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization formed in the wake of 9/11 to help meet U.S. and international peace and security needs. In the words of then-U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, Juan Zarate, “We consider LibForAll to be the loadstar in efforts to defeat the ideology of radical Islam.”

LibForAll’s success is directly attributable to the selfless Muslim leaders who form the backbone of its global network, and their heart-felt desire to work in a spirit of mutual cooperation and respect with others—whether Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim or atheist—who share a common love for humanity, and a desire to see Islamic teachings reconciled with the modern world of freedom, democracy and human rights. Current upheavals in the Middle East—and the escalating controversy about Islam and Islamophobia roiling North America and Europe—demonstrate the urgent need for such a process to occur.

C. Holland Taylor established LibForAll Foundation in 2003 with his close friend, former Indonesian president H.E. Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid (1940-2009). In 2008 they established al-‘Mahad al-Dawali lil-Dirasaat al-Qur’aniyya (the International Institute of Qur’anic Studies, or IIQS) with Kyai Haji A. Mustofa Bisri, Dr. A. Syafii Maarif and Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu-Zayd of Egypt.
In conjunction with the launch of the phenomenally-successful book “The Illusion of an Islamic State” in May of 2009, they established Gerakan Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (the Oneness Amid Diversity Movement), which in turn gave birth in 2014 to Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (the Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation), “to export [the] collective wisdom and experience [of East Indies Islam and the Nahdlatul Ulama] throughout the world, for the benefit of humanity.” ~ al-Ahram (Egypt)
  • Expert on Islam and the Islamization of Southeast Asia, with over four decades of experience in the Muslim world
  • Under his leadership, LibForAll has become the premier NGO developing and operationalizing counter-extremism strategies worldwide
  • Former telecom CEO, widely credited as one of the essential catalysts in the deregulation of the global telecommunications industry
  • Co-founder, Deputy Chairman and COO, Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation)
  • Co-founder, Vienna Observatory for Applied Research on Terrorism and Extremism (VORTEX)
  • Emissary to the United Nations, Americas and Europe, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor (the Nahdlatul Ulama Young Adults Movement)

“While the Asia Foundation and others dived for cover, one American outfit jumped into the theological fray with gusto. In December 2003, C. Holland Taylor, a former telecommunications executive from Winston-Salem, N.C., set up a combative outfit called LibForAll Foundation to ‘promote the culture of liberty and tolerance.’”

~ Andrew Higgins, “As Indonesia Debates Islam’s Role, U.S. Stays Out,” Washington Post

  • Indonesia’s first democratically-elected president (1999 – 2001) and chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (1984 – ‘99)
  • “The single most influential religious leader in the Muslim world,” and “easily the most important ally the West has in the ideological struggle with radical Islam.” ~ Wall Street Journal, “The Last King of Java”
  • Recipient of the 2003 Friends of the United Nations Global Tolerance Award and the 2008 Simon Wiesenthal Center Medal of Valor
  • “[W]e present Medals of Valor to individuals whose courage and bravery have made a difference and touched lives in the darkest of places.” ~ Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, presenting the Medal of Valor to President Wahid
  • “Even more important than his role as a politician, Wahid was the spiritual leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, and probably in the world, with 40 million members. He was a product of Indonesia’s traditionally tolerant and humane practice of Islam, and he took that tradition to a higher level and shaped it in ways that will last long after his death.” ~ Wall Street Journal, “Wahid and the Voice of Moderate Islam”

“The former president and cleric, Abdurrahman Wahid, of the 40-million-strong Nahdlatul Ulama, stands out as the world’s pre-eminent Islamic humanist, a rare figure who is liberal by any standard, not merely the lowered ones usually applied to Muslim clerics.”

~ Sadanand Dhume, Far Eastern Economic Review

  • Former Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council and preeminent spiritual figure in Muslim Southeast Asia
  • Co-founder and Chairman, Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation)
  • Senior Advisor to LibForAll Foundation and its International Institute of Qur’anic Studies (IIQS)
  • Founder of the “Mata Air” (“Living Spring”) interfaith community, whose membership is open to all who share its essential values: “Worship God; respect elders; treat those who are younger with loving kindness; open your heart to all humanity”
  • Chairman of Majma’ Buhuts an-Nahdliyyah
  • Hailed as “a firewall against terrorism in the name of Islam” (Aftonbladet, Sweden) and “one of the most influential liberal Islamic scholars worldwide” (Der Spiegel, Germany) who “defies every Western stereotype of an Islamic leader” (Washington Post)

“In Gus Mus’s literary works… one discovers a profound and sublime poetic achievement expressed in simple style and language. His stature as an Islamic scholar, and spiritual giant, imbues his poetry with humanistic values that calm and refresh the spirit. His work conveys social critique in a gentle, humble and polite voice, which envelopes the reader like an intimate greeting, rather than overwhelming him with shouts or abuse.”

~ Ahmad Tohari: Kiai yang tidak sok Kiai (The Truly Humble Religious Scholar)

F. Borden Hanes, Jr.

  • Noted philanthropist and scion of one of the most respected families in the U.S., known for their business achievements, philanthropy and public service
  • Chairman of the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation, and of Bowen Hanes & Company; Vice Chairman of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts; Past Chairman of Old Salem Inc., the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and SciWorks; member of the University of North Carolina National Development Council and UNC Friends of the Library Board; member of The Comprehensive Cancer Center Board of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; past Trustee of the North Carolina Museum of Art; Director, LibForAll Foundation; Co-founder, Director and Treasurer, Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation)
  • Recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, in recognition of his extraordinary service to the state of North Carolina
  • Served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant of Infantry